Dinanath Batra to move court again on Doniger’s another book, On Hinduism

published on March 2, 2014

Delhi court forces Penguin Books to withdraw Doniger’s controversial book

Another milestone by Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti

Shri Dinanath Batra, veteran educationist and convener of the Shiksha Bachalo Andolan Samiti, has achieved another milestone. At the ‘young’ age of 84, he forced the Penguin Books India to withdraw all editions of the US writer Wendy Doniger’s controversial book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.

The publisher entered into an agreement before the Additional District Judge Shri Balwant Rai Bansal at Saket Districts Court in Delhi on February 10 to destroy all copies of the book at its own cost within six months.

The agreement, signed between the petitioner Shri Dinanath Batra and others (OP Gupta, Shravan Kumar, Samley Prasad, Mahesh Chander Sharma, Dr Satish Mittal) and the Penguin Books India, made it clear that the said book would not be printed in any form again. Shri Batra had filed this case on March 19, 2011 through his counsel Monika Arora.

Wendy Doniger analysed revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the case. Even cover page of the book showed ‘Lord Krishna…sitting on buttocks of a naked woman surrounded by other naked women…in a vulgar, base perverse manner to outrage religious feelings of Hindus.

Doniger’s book has been receiving protest ever since it was published in 2009 with several scholars saying her assertions were ‘unreliable’ and ‘idiosyncratic’ both in India and abroad. This withdrawal of the book clearly signals a rising awareness among the Hindus against the perceived slurs on Hinduism by foreign Indologists.

Commenting over the court ruling the author Wendy Doniger termed the Indian judiciary itself as the main villain. In a statement she said: “They (Penguin) were finally defeated by the true villain of this piece—the Indian law that makes it a criminal rather than civil offense to publish a book that offends any Hindu, a law that jeopardises the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book.” She threatened that in the age of Internet, it is no longer possible to suppress a book and the people in India will always be able to read her books of all sorts, including some that may offend some Hindus.

The court ruling shook the secularists so deeply that they are making unending hue and cry in defence of Doniger. But the majority of Hindus are happy. “Wendy must now be exposed in the academic world for motivated research under the garb of intellectual activism. Wendy and likes of her need to be psychoanalysed for their perverted approach in religious studies and declared bias against anything that challenges the Western thought,” said Prof BK Kuthiala, Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Journalism University, Bhopal.

Undeterred over any criticism, Shri Batra and Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti said they would continue to campaign against the author’s other works still on sale in the country.

Other Milestones

(1)Delhi High Court ordered the removal of 75 objectionable portions from the history books for classes 6-12 published by the NCERT.

(2)The Union HRD Minister ordered IGNOU to delete all the passages insulting Hindu Gods.

(3)A portion insulting women in the name of Rig Veda was deleted from BA (Pass Course) Sociology Part-I book in Delhi University.

(4)Oxford University Press withdrew the book, Many Ramayanas, an article by AK Ramanajuan, prescribed for Delhi University’s BA (Hons) History students.

(5)Forced the Government of India to withdraw sex education in schools.

(6)Won a case regarding the qualification of Sanskrit teachers in 2011.

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